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Apple indicates final Xserve orders won't ship for two more months

post #1 of 41
Thread Starter 
With just days to go before Apple officially pulls the plug on its Xserve line of rack-mount servers, the company has indicated that all orders for the systems taken today and through Monday won't ship for at least another two months.

Apple updated its online store early Thursday by noting that orders for both the "Quad-Core" and "8-Core" will ship in "April." No explanation was provided for the delay, which comes just four days before the company will stop accepting orders for the servers on January 31st.

Back in November, the Cupertino-based company announced the discontinuation of the Xserve on its website, posting an "Xserve Transition Guide" [PDF] stating that it would not be developing a future version of Xserve.

Instead, Apple said customers looking for a Mac-based server option could choose between the Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server, or the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server. It said both systems will remain available for customers looking to upgrade, replace or supplement existing Xserve systems.

That same guide noted that the 12-core Mac Pro with Snow Leopard Server already meets or exceeds the performance of the baseline Xserve hardware. Meanwhile, it said that while the Mac mini with Snow Leopard Server is significantly outperformed by Xserve, it has been Apple's most popular server system since its introduction in the fall of 2009.

While Apple provided no formal explanation for the discontinuation of its flagship server line, a purported email reply from chief executive Steve Jobs reportedly claimed that "hardly anyone was buying" the systems.



Xserve orders will be accepted through Jan. 31, 2011, including the 160GB, 1TB, and 2TB models, and those purchases will be backed by Apple's full one-year warranty, the company said.

For more on why Apple axed Xserve, and how it can reenter the server market, see AppleInsider's special report.
post #2 of 41
It is always sad when a Mac dies, we should have some kind of funeral.

However the Mac lineup is quite simple now, I see them as having 3 categories.
Mainstream: iMac, Macbook Pro
Specialized: Mac Pro (for number crunching), Macbook Air (for portability)
Budget: Macbook, Mac mini
post #3 of 41
Will this delay the February announcement rumored by Apple System Engineers trying to convince firms not to buy competing server technologies?
post #4 of 41
When Jobs ultimately does leave Apple (which I hope will only be in the distant future), one of the few upsides might be that Apple could begin taking *Mac* (as opposed to iOS) business customers more seriously. I suspect he's the number one internal impediment right now to that happening.
post #5 of 41
Thankfully we just upgraded our Xserves running our DAM late last year but I do feel sorry for people scrambling for a replacement solution for their setups.
post #6 of 41
"Hardly anyone was buying" turns into a 2+ month back order??
Maybe hardly anyone was buying at that time because they hadn't been updated in over a year and were overpriced?

To suggest that a Mac Pro or mac mini is a suitable replacement in a production server environment again shows that Apple never understood that market. In the environments I've worked, admins would be walked out for suggesting something so silly!
post #7 of 41
Seeing as they're updating the MacBook Pros imminently, not hard to see that part of it could just be a bump?
We await to see what happens, but Sandy Bridge updates will be rolling out. With or without XServe, the other ranges should see updates over the year.
post #8 of 41
What if Apple discontinued the Xserve line only to replace it with a new revolutionary product. Something that will blow the roof off the server market.

Apple will release a super high performance line of Xserves with the lightpeak tech at it's core and super fast solid state drives.

Or what if Apple takes that same technology and adds a custom next generation Apple ARM CPU / CPU's. Think about how green that product would be. It the energy consumption would be a fraction of what today's server market uses.

Just a couple of thoughts
post #9 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digiworkz View Post

What if Apple discontinued the Xserve line only to replace it with a new revolutionary product. Something that will blow the roof off the server market.

Apple will release a super high performance line of Xserves with the lightpeak tech at it's core and super fast solid state drives.

Or what if Apple takes that same technology and adds a custom next generation Apple ARM CPU / CPU's. Think about how green that product would be. It the energy consumption would be a fraction of what today's server market uses.

Just a couple of thoughts

Not gonna' happen. They wouldn't be telling people that XServe is being discontinued and to "go use something else", have limited and almost useless Mac solutions to only come back to the server market.

I think the discontinuation of XServe demonstrates the disadvantages of Apple's great success in the consumer marketplace. From a financial standpoint, I don't blame them: if you can sell 20 million phones or iPads, why do you care about selling tens of thousands of servers? But Apple used to care about the high end of the market and those servers had some great features, although I will admit that they weren't highly adopted.

This must mean that Apple is not going to be using Macs in the North Carolina server farm. I think that's an embarrassment. What are they going to use? Dell? HP? "Yeah, we make the best computers, but we're not going to use them because either they're not powerful enough or they're hard to administer."

If Apple doesn't want to pay a lot of attention to the Mac line, perhaps they should spin it off into a separate company.
post #10 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

This must mean that Apple is not going to be using Macs in the North Carolina server farm. I think that's an embarrassment. What are they going to use? Dell? HP? "

More likely Oracle/Sun (remember SJ's bff is Larry E.)

This whole server flap could be solved pretty easily if Apple licensed OSX Server to a company like Oracle or HP (or allowed it to run as a VM under another server OS). They could charge a price high enough to ensure that the licensee would be unable to sell a computer that can compete with Apple's desktop/laptops.
post #11 of 41
1U servers have become a commodity - a market in which Apple does not compete, whether consumer or enterprise.

Although disappointed with this decision, I would like to see Apple team with Oracle and use the established and highly regarded Sun hardware in the enterprise market. Oracle is well positioned in the enterprise and with the addition of Sun they have added not only industrial strength hardware to their offerings but a substantial support network as well.

I warrants a Steve Larry discussion.
post #12 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

If Apple doesn't want to pay a lot of attention to the Mac line, perhaps they should spin it off into a separate company.

I have been thinking the same thing for some time now.
post #13 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

If Apple doesn't want to pay a lot of attention to the Mac line, perhaps they should spin it off into a separate company.

Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

I have been thinking the same thing for some time now.

That's insane, and you know it. What you think a Mac should be is totally different from what Apple thinks, which is selling 3 to 4 million a quarter, the best ever in their history.

If the Mac were spun off to a different company it could wither, IMHO. iPad and iPhone is keeping it ticking.

It's just that now Mac is really for everyday Joe and Jane. No more the realm of enterprise and creative pros. It is sad, but inevitable. Apple could put all its resources in pushing the Mac and fighting the PC wars, but iOS is where all the momentum is now. Some people that have been using iOS come to a Mac thinking it's just as easy but they are floored by it. Yes, people are getting that "stupid" and it is in part to iOS itself!
post #14 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Not gonna' happen... If Apple doesn't want to pay a lot of attention to the Mac line, perhaps they should spin it off into a separate company.

Not gonna' happen... Mac = Mac OS X = iOS
post #15 of 41
I just hope Mac Pro isn't next on the chopping block
post #16 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

Not gonna' happen. They wouldn't be telling people that XServe is being discontinued and to "go use something else", have limited and almost useless Mac solutions to only come back to the server market.

I think the discontinuation of XServe demonstrates the disadvantages of Apple's great success in the consumer marketplace. From a financial standpoint, I don't blame them: if you can sell 20 million phones or iPads, why do you care about selling tens of thousands of servers? But Apple used to care about the high end of the market and those servers had some great features, although I will admit that they weren't highly adopted.

This must mean that Apple is not going to be using Macs in the North Carolina server farm. I think that's an embarrassment. What are they going to use? Dell? HP? "Yeah, we make the best computers, but we're not going to use them because either they're not powerful enough or they're hard to administer."

If Apple doesn't want to pay a lot of attention to the Mac line, perhaps they should spin it off into a separate company.

Clearly they never made the best servers for anything. No blades, no other form factors, and wow, a one year warranty? Dell has as standard 3 years with Pro support and on site in 4hrs 24x7. Like you said, Apple excels at the consumer side, and I wouldn't expect them to be able to excel at both. Same goes for Dell; they had top notch support and reliability before they focused on the consumer market.

Even if Apple still sold the Xserve, it would probably be cheaper to use someone else's servers.
post #17 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by nvidia2008 View Post


If the Mac were spun off to a different company it could wither, IMHO. iPad and iPhone is keeping it ticking.

It's just that now Mac is really for everyday Joe and Jane. No more the realm of enterprise and creative pros.

That's my point. Apple's consumer-driven product road map leaves very little room for high-end niche products. I see the demise of the MacPro on the horizon. With that in mind, would it be so terrible if Apple licensed -say- Oracle to cater to the OSX pro market?
post #18 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by azentropy View Post

"Hardly anyone was buying" turns into a 2+ month back order??
Maybe hardly anyone was buying at that time because they hadn't been updated in over a year and were overpriced?

To suggest that a Mac Pro or mac mini is a suitable replacement in a production server environment again shows that Apple never understood that market. In the environments I've worked, admins would be walked out for suggesting something so silly!

I'd have to guess it really hasn't been a profitable line of business for them. My guess, again, is that many of their customers could probably do quite well with a Mac Pro or Mac Mini running OS X Server. Obviously, some number can't, but, of that category of customer, how many are using OS X Server and not running Linux or, in Windows shops, Windows Server? (If Linux weren't available running on basic "PC" architecture, it might have been a different game for Xserve.)

I think they took a look at the rack mounted server market potential and decided it jut wasn't worth it for the returns. It's not really reasonable to expect them to be everywhere when "everywhere" just isn't giving much return on the investment. It's unfortunate for those who do want to run OS X Server and do need an Xserve class server, but this is just the sort of business decision that companies have to make all the time.
post #19 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

... I see the demise of the MacPro on the horizon. ...

I don't see that happening. I expect that the demand for Mac Pros is orders of magnitude greater than for Xserves.
post #20 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Digiworkz View Post

What if Apple discontinued the Xserve line only to replace it with a new revolutionary product. Something that will blow the roof off the server market.

Apple will release a super high performance line of Xserves with the lightpeak tech at it's core and super fast solid state drives.

Or what if Apple takes that same technology and adds a custom next generation Apple ARM CPU / CPU's. Think about how green that product would be. It the energy consumption would be a fraction of what today's server market uses.

Just a couple of thoughts



The 1u server market is all but dead due to Vmware. With HP and Dell you can even get killer 1u servers that will run Vmware very well. Only reason to buy dedicated servers these days is for SQL server or oracle. And people are even starting to put database servers on Vmware for dr reasons

Where I work we just bought 4 new HP servers that will blow away anything apple has. And a lot cheaper.

Ssd's are a waste in servers except in small niches. The roi is not there.
post #21 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zoetmb View Post

This must mean that Apple is not going to be using Macs in the North Carolina server farm. I think that's an embarrassment. What are they going to use? Dell? HP? "Yeah, we make the best computers, but we're not going to use them because either they're not powerful enough or they're hard to administer."

Does any major Internet company buy servers from HP or Dell? I'm pretty sure that the big boys like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft custom build their own servers. I truely doubt Apple would buy servers from someone else. Since they are discontinuing the X-Serve I wouldn't be surprised if they are moving away from blade servers. I'll choose to speculate that they move on to their own custom built super computers (don't have any good reason to believe this, but it would be the coolest solution).
post #22 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mynameisjoe View Post

Does any major Internet company buy servers from HP or Dell? I'm pretty sure that the big boys like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft custom build their own servers. I truely doubt Apple would buy servers from someone else. Since they are discontinuing the X-Serve I wouldn't be surprised if they are moving away from blade servers. I'll choose to speculate that they move on to their own custom built super computers (don't have any good reason to believe this, but it would be the coolest solution).

I don't know what other companies are doing, but they could build their own servers, and run either OS X Server, or simply Darwin, on them.
post #23 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Mynameisjoe View Post

Does any major Internet company buy servers from HP or Dell? I'm pretty sure that the big boys like Google, Amazon, and Microsoft custom build their own servers. I truely doubt Apple would buy servers from someone else. Since they are discontinuing the X-Serve I wouldn't be surprised if they are moving away from blade servers. I'll choose to speculate that they move on to their own custom built super computers (don't have any good reason to believe this, but it would be the coolest solution).

Why would you make a custom server? Just about any company uses some form of HP or Dell or IBM system, coupled with other hardware equipment. It isn't as if you would come out ahead either.

People like HP make great servers to begin with. If you want a more direct solution there is Super Micro and the like.
post #24 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blastdoor View Post

More likely Oracle/Sun (remember SJ's bff is Larry E.)

In blade servers, Sun only offers AMD or Sparc chips. So they would be running Solaris, which is fine but they don't make very good hackintoshes.

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post #25 of 41
Not only does Apple now offer no attractive server hardware, it's not at all clear that they'll be offering any server OS six months from now. OS X Server has long been the neglected stepsister of the Mac lineup, and with no Lion version announced, seems likely to be moved from the kitchen to the bottom of the river.

(WIth his usual unnerving sense of timing, my cat vomited on an OS X Server install disc as I typed this. I will not presume to interpret the Oracle. His visions are as ambiguous as they are emphatic.)
post #26 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by rbryanh View Post

Not only does Apple now offer no attractive server hardware, it's not at all clear that they'll be offering any server OS six months from now.

I think there will be a 10.7 server. Only because it is pretty easy to port the server version once the standard OS X is done. The Server is mostly about add on anyway.

I don't see Apple wanting to abandon:

iCal server
Quicktime streaming server
Pod cast producer
iChat server

among other services, but those are unique to OS X server

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post #27 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mstone View Post

I think there will be a 10.7 server. Only because it is pretty easy to port the server version once the standard OS X is done. The Server is mostly about add on anyway.

I don't see Apple wanting to abandon:

iCal server
Quicktime streaming server
Pod cast producer
iChat server

among other services, but those are unique to OS X server

I disagree. With the de-commitment to "servers" in general I think those ARE then next things on the chopping block. No chance would I invest in those technologies from Apple. 2 of the 4 are dying technologies anyway. Stream via HTML5 and standard web services is replacing Quicktime streaming server and the didn't even bother to add Facetime to their iChat client so I don't see server progressing either. Either way Fool me once, shame on you... Fool me twice? nah... Apple really screwed some of the longest and most diehard advocates with this move.
post #28 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by azentropy View Post

I disagree. With the de-commitment to "servers" in general I think those ARE then next things on the chopping block. No chance would I invest in those technologies from Apple. 2 of the 4 are dying technologies anyway. Stream via HTML5 and standard web services is replacing Quicktime streaming server and the didn't even bother to add Facetime to their iChat client so I don't see server progressing either. Either way Fool me once, shame on you... Fool me twice? nah... Apple really screwed some of the longest and most diehard advocates with this move.

Have to agree here. Long term we are going to be phasing out our final cut workstations and going back to ( bleh) Avid and NetApp for new storage to replace Xsan. Even Adobe Premeir is an option at this point.
post #29 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by azentropy View Post

I disagree. With the de-commitment to "servers" in general I think those ARE then next things on the chopping block. No chance would I invest in those technologies from Apple. 2 of the 4 are dying technologies anyway. Stream via HTML5 and standard web services is replacing Quicktime streaming server and the didn't even bother to add Facetime to their iChat client so I don't see server progressing either. Either way Fool me once, shame on you... Fool me twice? nah... Apple really screwed some of the longest and most diehard advocates with this move.

Wow. I just typed a huge and brilliant post and the site timed out my login and lost it. Bummer.
I'll just retype my very first thought...

With the success of the Mini server, you will very likely see 10.7 Server.
post #30 of 41
You should have a look at this: http://activestorage.com/
post #31 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

That's my point. Apple's consumer-driven product road map leaves very little room for high-end niche products. I see the demise of the MacPro on the horizon. With that in mind, would it be so terrible if Apple licensed -say- Oracle to cater to the OSX pro market?

That's just plain silly. Think before you make these comments.

Apple enjoyed a very small following in the enterprise market with good, but limited products and relatively poor support capabilities. I am one of them, but experienced their shortcomings more than once.

With Mac Pro's, Apple is absolutely dominating the high-end desktop market with over 90% market share on desktops over $1000.
post #32 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by stonefree View Post

I just hope Mac Pro isn't next on the chopping block

Yeah, please Apple don't ever drop the MacPro. It probably isn't selling good, last quarter I think they sold 1.2 M desktops and with the Mini being 'popular' I guess they just don't sell that many. Probably a peak when a new one is released, but please don't discontinue any more of your fine products. Like the 30" Cinema Display. I got it the moment they announced it's death. Now only available as a refurb for $1299:
http://store.apple.com/us/product/F9...co=MTY3ODQ5OTY

Phil
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post #33 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post

The 1u server market is all but dead due to Vmware. With HP and Dell you can even get killer 1u servers that will run Vmware very well. Only reason to buy dedicated servers these days is for SQL server or oracle. And people are even starting to put database servers on Vmware for dr reasons

Where I work we just bought 4 new HP servers that will blow away anything apple has. And a lot cheaper.

Ssd's are a waste in servers except in small niches. The roi is not there.

Xserve's were the only 1U servers we ever purchased, agreed. But I think it's a tired argument that Apple was expensive in the 1st tier server category. Pricing was definitely in the low to mid-range.

I found that both HP and Dell (which have great server offerings) using Intel were absolutely in the same price range and usually more expensive.
post #34 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post

With Mac Pro's, Apple is absolutely dominating the high-end desktop market with over 90% market share on desktops over $1000.

OK, did not know that. Source?

Although MacPro's remain the de facto standard in AV production, it is now an open secret that most cross-platform software runs better on Win7. Some industry-standard 3D software like Autodesk Maya is not even available for OSX at all.

That combined with Apple's success in consumer electronics make me fear that they're losing interest in the pro-market, and understandably so. I have no idea about the margins, but with SJ saying that their strategy is to 'price things aggresively and go for volume', I just can't figure out how that applies to the MacPro.
post #35 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by zeph View Post

Some industry-standard 3D software like Autodesk Maya is not even available for OSX at all.

Not true. http://usa.autodesk.com/products/mac...tible-products

It may be true that the Windows versions have improved functionality in a few areas, but the Mac versions are very capable.
post #36 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by Wolfman View Post

Xserve's were the only 1U servers we ever purchased, agreed. But I think it's a tired argument that Apple was expensive in the 1st tier server category. Pricing was definitely in the low to mid-range.

I found that both HP and Dell (which have great server offerings) using Intel were absolutely in the same price range and usually more expensive.

i have experience with HP and a 1U server will kill the xserve

HP 1U servers come with 8 internal drive bays so you can buy less servers. the 2U servers can be bought with up to 16 internal drives. and HP has real SAS enterprise hard drives, not just SATA.

and Xserves still use the previous generation Xeon CPU's. no choice of current gen Xeons

HP Proliants also have what's called iLO. it's a special chip in the server that i can use to remotely push the power button. as long as the server has power and a NIC cable in the iLO port i can use my iphone to remotely push the power button on the server in case it hangs up. there are also a lot more management features that the iLO supports.

i just configures a $15,000 Xserve. as a comparison my employer just bought 4 new HP 2U servers for just under $15,000. 2 6 core Xeon's in each one, 72GB RAM, 2 300GB hard drives in a RAID, 4 NIC's in each server, iLO, 5 year 4 hour warranty on each server, the ability to monitor and control the power usage, ability to use it without a KVM, etc.

the reason people use dell and HP is you can buy less servers to handle the same workload and that's a big cost savings.

as far as VMware it's a game changer. we used to always buy 1U's for some new weblogic or java app. now we have a few 2U servers and just run vmware and make new instances. every 2 years or so you just buy a new server to run vmware. the hardware is getting so cheap it's ridiculous how many more instances you can run on each new generation. even with database servers it's amazing. we used to run 30 some SQL servers. every year it's less and less because you can run more and more on each new generation of hardware

xserves are where HP/Dell were 5-10 years ago as far as density on a server
post #37 of 41
So Apple's gone from computer pioneer, to desktop publishing jugernaut, to 64-bit power systems embraced by the movie and scientific industries..............to now just a toymaker.

Coming soon to a Toys 'R Us near you.....the iSpeak & Spell.....
post #38 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by brianwells View Post

Not true. http://usa.autodesk.com/products/mac...tible-products

It may be true that the Windows versions have improved functionality in a few areas, but the Mac versions are very capable.

That is not Maya, but AutoCad. Maya is Windows only:

http://usa.autodesk.com/adsk/servlet...12&id=13583877
post #39 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by pondosinatra View Post

So Apple's gone from computer pioneer, to desktop publishing jugernaut, to 64-bit power systems embraced by the movie and scientific industries..............to now just a toymaker...

Yup and in that process became the most successful in its history. Ever.

But I get what you are saying. iOS development is a new challenge for me though, a way to make me feel "high-end" when using Apple stuff. ...That and jailbreaking.
post #40 of 41
Quote:
Originally Posted by mjpassos View Post

You should have a look at this: http://activestorage.com/

Yeah that looks very interesting. My guess would be that there is a Sun Sparc under that black cloth. And it is either going to run OS X server software directly or it is going to run it in Virtual Box with a slight Apple approved change in the licensing to allow that.

Or

Something Active Storage is putting together from standard, compatible chipsets/motherboards. And also with some special license agreement with Apple.

This could be really good.

Or is might just be some sort of Xsan server only. Not as interesting, but important nonetheless.
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